Fast-track induction programme provides the perfect opportunity to get up to speed in ECC

Our innovative AdvantEdge induction programme offers experienced vets a fast-track route into an exciting career in emergency and critical care.

For vets looking for a new challenge, AdvantEdge is the perfect way to develop their skills before taking on a sole-charge role in one of our clinics.

Laura Fisher, a veterinary surgeon at our Hemel Hempstead clinic, is fully aware of the opportunities AdvantEdge can offer. Having spent more than eight years working in small animal practice, she signed up for the programme after deciding it was time for a change.

In this interview, Laura explains why she hopes embarking on a career in ECC will lead to a better work-life balance.

Image of vets working Vets Now's emergency hospital in Glasgow

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Can you give me a brief history of your career?

I graduated in 2010 and then worked in a small animal practice for around 18 months. I did a bit of out-of-hours work there but found doing day work as well as out-of-hours a bit too much. I then relocated and moved to a different clinic, where I stayed for seven years. I don’t have a lot of genuine emergency experience and, as I wanted to get up to speed, I decided to apply for AdvantEdge.

Where did you go to university?

I did a degree in Bioveterinary Science at the University of Liverpool and then went to vet school, so it took seven years for me to become a vet.

When did working as a vet become an ambition?

I’ve always wanted to do it. I started gaining work experience and working in kennels when I was 15 or 16, so my interest goes back a long way. I always knew that this was what I wanted to do and I stayed focused on that goal.

What was it that attracted you to AdvantEdge?

One of my friends who works for Vets Now recommended it. We often talk about career paths and she knew that I wanted a bit of a change. I thought AdvantEdge was perfect because it gave me the opportunity to go back to basics with ECC and get back up to speed with it so I’m prepared to deal with any situation in the clinic.

What did you gain from the programme?

In basic terms, more knowledge about how to deal effectively with emergency situations. The lecturers were so knowledgeable and really helpful — any questions we had we could just ask. It was just a great opportunity.

We started with the basics, like triage and minimum database, and we worked on ultrasound and radiography. We also covered all the different scenarios we might be faced with and how we would deal with them, as well as the client aspect and the financial side of the job. So it was everything rolled into one, really.

Image of Laura Fisher for Vets Now article on AdvantEdge programme
Laura was keen to brush up on her ECC knowledge before starting in-clinic shifts

Was there anything you found particularly interesting?

The ultrasound practical session was really helpful. I’ve done a lot of abdominal ultrasound in day practice but I wasn’t as comfortable doing a thoracic ultrasound and looking for subtle signs. So that’s definitely something I took away with me. I think the practical side of the programme really helped break everything down.

Why did you choose ECC?

It’s just something different and potentially a new career path for me. I’ve also got two young children and I wanted a role that would allow me to do things like the school run. Working nights could potentially make that easier in some ways. And I can work part-time hours which is ideal. So, it’s a combination of the caseload and work-life balance that appeals to me.

What attracted you to Vets Now?

The recommendations I received, but also the learning culture of the company. They encourage you to develop and achieve your potential, and they’re just constantly moving with the times. Sometimes you get a bit stuck and just want to get better at what you do and I feel like Vets Now support staff to do that. They are focused on constant learning, with support to complete the certificate and there’s also lots of CPD on offer, which I think is great.

Image of the AdvantEdge May 2019 group for Vets Now article
The full AdvantEdge group on their last day in the support office

What makes Vets Now a unique employer?

Vets Now stand out because of the training and support they offer. The network of support in the clinics is also great. You’ve got a host of people you can ask so you’re never really by yourself.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to follow in your footsteps?

We often get stuck in our ways but change can be a good thing. It took me a while to decide that I needed a change, but sometimes you’ve got to take the plunge and just hope it’ll work. For me, I really enjoyed the AdvantEdge programme so I’m optimistic about my future here.

What are your ambitions?

I’d love to be more confident in emergency work and obviously enhance my experience. For now, I just want to get my foot in the door and gain more confidence in my clinical skills and when I’m more comfortable I’d love to do a certificate.

How do you achieve a work-life balance?

Looking back to before I had children, I think perhaps I should have worked a little less so I wasn’t constantly at work. Working part-time at Vets Now is definitely going to give me more time at home with the children which will hopefully make me happier and I’ll enjoy my time more both at home and at work.